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  • Potholes and the government meme machine

    A hole is not a hole in the upside-down world of Malta. No, sir. That gaping space you swerved around on the new Marsa flyover is progress! We know this is true because Minister Ian Borg said so with great insistence when speaking to The Times of Malta. “It’s not a pothole,” he said. “Can […] More

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  • Schembri finally got his day in court, and he chose to run away

    Well, that didn’t go very well, did it? In court yesterday, Keith Schembri acted like the kid in the playground who mouths off and picks fights while whispering, “Hold me back….”, to his friend. Unfortunately for him, Magistrate Victor Axiaq was having none of this ‘holding back’ nonsense. He upheld the law in a country […] More

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  • Dodging the truth on pushback

    “I was mistaken when it comes to the pushback,” Joseph Muscat said last month, in the wake of a barrage of anti-migrant hate speech that shocked the island. The Prime Minister was referring to threats he made in 2013 to ‘push back’ a group of Somalian asylum seekers by returning them to war-torn Libya under […] More

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  • Sant’s rant is a distraction

    Alfred Sant is unhappy that the European Court of Justice has a say in how judges and magistrates are appointed in Malta. Malta’s sovereignty has been ‘hindered’ by EU membership, says the former Labour Prime Minister who did all he could, together with current Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, to prevent Malta from joining the […] More

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  • ‘This is not on’, said the Dodger to the fly

    Dodging journalists. Avoiding interviews. Running away from tough questions. Refusing to be answerable to the people. You’re right about one thing, Prime Minister.  “This is not on.” Government officials have a duty to respond to questions from journalists — even the questions they don’t want to be asked. While Ministers of this government do insist […] More

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  • Another paper tiger

    This government has a strong record of creating paper tigers — entities that are powerful on paper but have no teeth when it comes to enforcement. This “new” Hate Crimes & Speech Unit has already proven itself to be yet another example. The island was shocked by a barrage of racist hate on social media […] More

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  • ‘They did it, too!’

    “It’s okay to give Kurt Farrugia Malta Enterprise because Lawrence Gonzi gave it to his former spokesman, too.” We sure have come a long way from Joseph Muscat’s promise to deliver accountability, meritocracy, and transparency. It isn’t like he forgot about it. Despite muddling through a first term rocked by weekly corruption scandals, Joseph Muscat […] More

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  • How much does Malta have to give?

    Malta has a racism problem, and nothing is being done to address it. How deep does racism run in this purportedly Catholic country? Can outsiders ever be accepted in Maltese society? These questions came to the fore again after a riot at the Hal Far open centre, where cars were burnt, offices smashed, and staff […] More

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  • Judicial schizophrenia

    Justice Joanne Vella Cuschieri has ruled that Malta Enterprise’s right to secrecy trumps Freedom of Information laws and the public’s right to know. Just what is Malta Enterprise trying to hide from you? It wants to prevent the release of a controversial memorandum of understanding (MoU) that it signed with the investors behind Vitals Global Healthcare […] More

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  • Cracks appear in the government’s piggy bank

    Who thought extending ‘‘interest-free’ property loans to people who don’t qualify for loans was a good idea? Elements of the 2020 Budget reminded me of the last election. I thought I’d fallen into an “Only in Malta” episode of the Twilight Zone as I watched members of parliament hand out hampers of cheap food: bottles […] More

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  • The future is female, wiping out the past

    Joseph Muscat gave a speech at the United Nations last week where he told a sparsely populated room that, “The future is female”. The Prime Minister was careful to focus his self-praise on his government’s efforts to get more women into the workforce, which he described as “a silent social revolution”, words happily repeated by […] More

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  • Diverting public attention from the story that won’t die

    In the make-belief land of Malta, perception matters more than reality, and the only concern is controlling the message. We’ve seen the pattern so many times before. The government makes a grandiose promise, and pledges spending in the Budget, generating a fanfare of publicity and self-congratulatory back patting by ministers. But when the praise has […] More

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